Postpartum felt like drowning - Part 1: Before giving birth

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

 Yesterday I was asked if I got post partum depression when I had my baby.   I probably have talked about it so many time times with my friends and I have shared thoughts in this blog. 

But this is a very important issue and its worth talking about it all the time that its brought up to my life, because different people might be going through it at different times and because I get different insights every time I think about it. 

Yesterday that I got asked about it, made me remember how bad it was for me. I do not think anyone who have not had postpartum depression can understand. 

The first year of my baby's life was horrible for me. Not that it was horrible, I loved everything. I loved my baby, I loved my family, I loved all the support and community, I loved my work who were supporting too. 

But my body felt horrible. One of the main factors that I attribute my postpartum depression was to the lack of sleep. 

There are so many factors that in my opinion ( I am not a doctor, just very intuitive about my own body) that can cause post partum depression and that can attribute to it) 

I felt that no one could help me, because no one could. No one can sleep for me. I was lucky enough to have a lot of support to help me case for the baby in the first days, weeks and months of my baby's life.

I was in labor for a whole day.. My water broke at 2 PM on a Thursday. I waited to have contractions more often before I headed to the hospital. WE went to the hospital at 6 pm, at 10 pm and with my soul in my hands and completely exhausted from the pain I went through ( I later learned that the pain I felt was because my gallbladder, my liver  and my pancreas were inflamed and probably don't even working at that point. I know because I had the exact same pain a month later and that was was going on. The hospital wanted to remove my gallbladder and give me treatment for life for the other organs that were super inflamed and "paralized" in simple words from the doctor. 

Either way, when I went to the hospital I asked that I was check for my organs as I felt that they were going to "explode" It might even be my apendix.  And the doctor told me,  that it was normal to be in pain when in labor, that my water had not broken and to come back.  Even the nurse said to the doctor, with all respect doctor, I think we should admit her for several reasons, the water is broken, she is leaking, she is in severe pain, there might be other studies we can do to find out where the pain is coming from. 

I remember another couple being in the triage and the guy was telling her, breathe honey, and the lady would take  breathes in a paper bag. Just like in the movies... and Steve would tell me. "MAybe we should do the breathing exercises that we learned in the class.." and I answered. " F.. the Effing breathing exercises... I am dying and everyone is letting me to die here. F the Effin doctor, eff everything and eff everybody, eff the effing lady next to me who has it so easy.."

And I truly thought I was going to be one of those who die in labor. The pain was so unbearable that I did not stop screaming in pain for hours... from around 10 pm to around 8 am that I was administered some IV Fluids.

The pain was so unbearable that I could not move, I could not breathe, I could not bare anything touching my skin. Even the air in the room was burning my skin. 

I thought crying and screaming for hours would make me tired enough to numb the pain. But it did not, every time the pain was stronger and stronger and my body weaker and weaker. 

I am not sure how Steve was able to sleep in spite of my screams. I am 100 % sure nobody in my block slept that night, but they all knew I was pregnant. I am also surprised that no one of the neighbors send the police over to check.   Even me going through what I went through I would still send the police over, what if I was stabbed and needed help. But I not once screamed "help"

I prayed and prayed... I prayed so hard. I surrendered. I was ready to give me life. I was ready to surrender my life just to stop the pain. At that point I thought dead was the only solution to my pain. I could not take it anymore but I did not die. I also was getting no answer from the heavens. 

Around 6 AM I got my answer from the heavens, I thought maybe the hospital staff has changed over the night. I need to go back. They have to admit me. If they do not, at least I want to die at the hospital, so its clear that it was due to their neglect. 

I asked STeve to take me one more time. He asked me how far were my contractions ? - "contractions???" Seriously? I am dying... I don't even think I have contractions anymore. My whole body is in shock. I am so weak, I could not even be able to push my baby out. But I couldn't talk anymore, I was too weak. 

So steve took me to the hospital, dropped me off at the ER entrance... and every step I made that day from the entrance to the lobby, where the longest, most painful steps I have even given in my life. 

The slowest too, but the most painful. I was completely naked  covered on a blanket, that was dragging on the floor, and although it was the most disgusting think I can think of, I could not bare grabbing it a bit higher or differently so it didn't drag. 

I made it to the lobby and the nurse could not understand very well what I was saying, so I just gave them my name. They brought me a wheel cheair and seating on it is the most painful experience I had so far at that point in my life. Then when they rolled me in, I could feel any little molecule of non smoothness in the ground. It was like being stabbed, with every passing of a tile. 

I finally got the the room and the nurse, who treated me as if I was faking pain got so frustrated because I could not speak. Until my husband arrived and told her what was going on. Explained everything that was happening and tell her, she is not speaking now and she is in a lot of pain. Real pain. 

It is so sad to think that if I had to be by myself,  maybe I would have died at my apartment by myself. OR maybe I would have died at the triage at the hospital had my husband not confirmed that I was in pain. 

Why would the nurse believe a husband that the woman is in pain, when I was the one right there with a face that probably was telling the whole story.  There are so many things wrong with this picture. Why would a man's word would waight more than a Woman's body and face and soul. But she did, as soon as the nurse saw my husband she started talking to him. 

-"We are going to admit her, we will administer IV fluids just to make her feel better, then we can use so pain medication that are mild enough that would not affect the delivery or if she chooses to get the epidural" . This will give her body a little respite. 

While I was thinking inside my head.. Why did she do nothing of this when she saw me ?  When she saw I could not even hold my own body folded by the pain, tears coming down my cheek, unable to speak for myself. 

But they did, and as soon as I got the IV fluids I was still in pain but I was able to speak again. I told the nurse that I was in so much pain that I could not respond to her questions, I was not being a brat. I was not being rude. I was in so much pain... I still was.. but I was able to speak.  I apologized to her ( I have no idea why, maybe because I knew I was in her hands and I wanted her to take care of me). 

She was very sweet after that.  So they asked me if I wanted an Epidural, I explained to her the pain I was feeling I felt it was not coming from the delivery, but from the organs... She looked at the chart and explained to me that the doctor had made notes and that Everything looked good( more than 12 hours before) and that the pain meds will help my body relax and continue with the contractions. 

At that point I was not dilated enough, so we had to wait. Then another nurse to administer the epidural, to which I said yes right away, even though I wanted to have a NAtural delivery. Which was not going to happen if I had not gotten the epidural. 

I was shaking, I was still in a lot of pain... and the nurse kept telling me, if you do not stop shaking we cannot give you the epidural. Or something can go wrong.  As if I had any control over the pain. As if I could order my brain to stop my body from shaking. 

" I am in a lot of pain right now, I am not shaking because I want to... can we try a different posture or can someone hold me down so hard that keeps my body from shaking?" and she did. She held my body while the other nurse did the Epidural procedure.

From then on, it was a complete different story.  My husband told me how different I looked. I could talk, I was not shaking anymore, I was uncomfortable, but not in pain. 

I think in general I was very dehydrated, because the night before I had really bad diarrhea, even water would come right out. Nothing was staying in my stomach. Nothing, and at some point I stopped drinking water because it was coming out and it was very painful. 

So from being a water drinker I went to at least 12 hrs with no water. That is probably why my gallbladder and my pancreas reacted. MAybe that is why I started getting the contractions. 

Who knows....